Maersk Oil reduces workforce by 10-12 percent

Maersk Oil is set to make deep cuts to its global workforce, the company says in statement. The workforce reductions relate to the company's businesses in Qatar and Norway.

Corrected 11:11 AM: In a previous version of this article, ShippingWatch wrote that the 10-12 percent workforce reduction is equivalent to 1250 jobs. That is not correct. The 1250 jobs correspond to the entire workforce reduction for all of 2015. We apologize for the error.

Maersk Oil is facing the consequences of a bleeding oil market and has announced plans to make deep cuts to its workforce, the company says in a press release Monday morning. Specifically, the company will reduce its workforce by 10 to 12 percent. It brings the company's total workforce reduction for the year to 1250 positions across the organization, a number that also covers any unfilled vacancies and jobs with subcontractors, Maersk Oil informs.

The move comes in the face of difficult conditions in the oil sector where dipping prices have seen the company launching an initiative to reduce operating costs by 20 percent by the end of 2016.

"These are difficult decisions for any business and my immediate concern is for the welfare of those affected directly by today’s news," says Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen according to the release.

"We are operating in a materially changed oil price environment and have taken necessary decisions to reduce activity levels through 2015, and ensure we focus where we can see adequate returns from our most robust projects. This approach has seen us sanction (postpone a final decision on investment, ed.) mega-projects like Johan Sverdrup and Culzean during the year. We remain focused on longer term growth opportunities (...)”" he says.

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Monday's announcement pertains to Maersk Oil's businesses in Qatar and Norway where 10-12 percent of the workforce will be cut, while reduction levels are somewhat lower in the company's operations in Denmark and in Kazakhstan, it says.

Maersk Oil has already begun making the cut-backs and the realignment of its portfolio, with 60 of the oil company's employees working on the major Chissonga project in Angola laid off in September, while 110 jobs relating to the project were cut at offices in Houston and Angola's capital, Luanda, at the beginning of the year. Moreover, Maersk Oil has said it aims to cut 220 jobs in the UK.

On the face of it, there is little sign of improvement in the current market with pressure on prices, Jakob Thomasen explains.

"We expect the pressure to continue into 2016 and we must remain cost-focused to grow in this market. I commend our people for the improvements in our operating performance whilst we have been managing down costs across the organization," he says.

Maersk Oil has not wished to make any further comments to Watch Medier regarding the matter.

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